Eating Right to Ride Fit

Accomplished horsewoman and equestrian fitness expert Emily J. Harrington offers advice on the best exercise and diet regimen to ride fit.

Accomplished horsewoman and equestrian fitness expert Emily J. Harrington offers advice on the best exercise and diet regimen to ride fit.

riding fit
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By Emily J. Harrington

Question:

I ride hunt seat equitation, and I’m looking for good exercises to strengthen my thighs and calves, and a diet to help me get the best out of each ride.

Thank you in advance,

Lakenzie

Answer:

Lakenzie,

The best thing for you to do is ride, of course. But I would also suggest doing leg work that includes calf raises, squats and hamstring curls, all done with lighter weights and high repetitions. The higher reps will put more focus on endurance, rather than just strength. Make sure to include stretches for the same muscle groups, such as wall stretches for calves, bringing your heel to your seat for a thigh stretch, and putting your leg up on a bench for a hamstring stretch.

As for diet, this is where you need to experiment a bit. The best rule of thumb is to have a little protein, fat and carbs present in your meal. But you need to know what your body likes. For instance, a piece or two of pizza provides carbs, fat and protein (probably in that order, but don’t hold me to that!), but you might not digest it as easily as yogurt with fruit and granola. Yogurt with fruit and granola, by the way, is a personal favorite meal of mine before I ride or exercise. I digest it easily and it satisfies me.

I hope that helps!

— Emily J. Harrington, CPT, equestrienne fitness trainer, is a multiple AQHA world champion and top-10 World Show finisher.

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1 thought on “Eating Right to Ride Fit”

  1. I have ridden all my life but now deal with bad Fibromyalsia.This decreases my energy levels and mental awareness, which in turn dosent make me want to ride much with my friends . I cant take the pounding on my body,It becomes painful. I also get tired quickly.It frustrates my friends to no end and I feel they do not understand.Can you recommend an exercise program that might help me?
    Thank you,
    Michelle D.

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